Mama, you are a hard mama.


This is what I was told while I was bathing Thomas (4) last night. We were in that delicate stage where you’ve both had a long day, tired, hot and you’re just about able to do the friendly and civil “Please lift your arm/ lift your leg, open your legs, bend your neck forward/backward” that goes with bathing a toddler.


Big Tom: Mama, you are a hard mama.
Me: What do you mean? Why am I hard? Where am I hard?
Big Tom: You are hard like dots. (Here he was referring to the join the dots exercises he struggles with.)
Me: You mean difficult?
Big Tom: Yes. You’re difficult.
Me: Okay Thomas, I’m sorry you think so but I don’t think I am.
Big Tom: Yes you are.


Cue gasps of horror from me as I run to the lounge and try to tell DH what just happened in our bathroom.


Once bath time was over and bedtime stories had been read and peace once again reigned, I was able to reflect about this conversation.


Thomas is an only child. A well-behaved one at that (naturally). Well when he is alone and when he is with other well-behaved kids.


Enter the two boy cousins he has. They’re boys. They’re older and are always up to mischief. Thomas adores them because he longs for a sibling. When he is with them, he copies their every move. Much to my dismay.


I reprimand him. They don’t get reprimanded. They get away with being unruly and having no manners. Thomas doesn’t.


We spent this past weekend with one of them. Lots of reprimanding happened (only from me and mostly aimed at Thomas (because I have no right to reprimand someone else’s kid, right?). Not fair on us. Not fair on Thomas.


Short of never going to or with these cousins, there’s not much I can do. Limit contact with them? Adopt a big brother (with good manners) for Thomas?


PS: The rookie parent in me wanted to of course tackle the parents but even a rookie knows when she’s outnumbered.


PPS: If there are any veteran parents out there who knows the right way to tackle this, please to let me know.



13 thoughts on “Mama, you are a hard mama.

  1. mamasnich

    I don’t like it when kids are rude and naughty. Now if it is my own nieces and nephew, I will speak up especially if they are doing damage in my home. Other kids it really depends on their parents. Most of our friends have the same values and desire the same kind of thing from their kids so if I do see out of handedness and their parents are not around I will probably intervene and try and correct the child’s behaviour if they are in the wrong.

  2. Helen_77

    I feel no shame in reprimanded other peoples kids if what they are doing is effecting your own kid. Go for it, you’re allowed

  3. ludditelass

    Eish, maybe it’s the teacher in me who’s used to sorting out all sorts of behaviour issues with groups of children but I do tend to “discipline”/speak to other children if they are doing things when they are with my children that are unacceptable. Actually, 3-year-old K is usually quicker than me to point out other children’s misdemeanors to them: “Hey, you mustn’t hit/pick in your nose and eat it/take his toys/say ugly words/throw that/draw on that. It’s unacceptable. Hey, Mummy?” Not that it stops him from displaying all these unacceptable behaviours himself, mind you! 😉

  4. rochelle.barrish

    Lol at little K. Thomas is just so desperate for a big brother and any older boy he comes across has to fill the gap… and the older boys are usually wild cards.

  5. rochelle.barrish

    Thanks, Helen. I think I will. I feel more free with my own family but seeing as how I only recently kissed and made up with my outlaws… it’s difficult.

  6. deblet

    I try as far as possible not to discipline other peoples kiddies.But a general reprimand to all if they are playing does help.Good job on having a well behaved kiddie….seems a rare thing these days.

  7. rochelle.barrish

    I struggle with the general reprimand. Only Thomas listens and the rest carry on. Then he looks at me as if to say why can they carry on but I must stop. Ai.


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